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Transport minister blames souvenir shops for Bali traffic jam, MTI comments

Tempo - January 2, 2024

Amelia Rahima, Antara, Jakarta – Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi attributed the traffic congestion on the Bali Mandara toll road on Friday evening, Dec. 29, to the souvenir shop. Deddy Herlambang, a transportation observer from the Indonesian Transportation Society (MTI), commented on the minister's statement.

"In my opinion, the existence of souvenir shops is not a substantial problem, because the major problem is the lack of mass public transportation as a feeder to Bali Airport," Deddy told Tempo on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024.

Deddy acknowledged that the government provided a shuttle bus to I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport. However, he emphasized that the government needs to mobilize many fleets so that travelers will have many options for departures and do not have to rely on rental cars.

As widely reported, the traffic on the Mandara toll road was gridlocked on Friday evening, prompting travelers to leave their cars and walk to the airport with their suitcases. Videos of the traffic jam went viral on social media platforms.

In response, Minister Budi Karya Sumadi urged souvenir shops on the island to manage their parking services and ensure that customers did not park their cars on the road, which could disrupt traffic.

"It is true that [the cause of the congestion] is probably the souvenir shops. So talk to them nicely. Logically, if a place has a parking capacity of ten vehicles, it should not receive 20 vehicles," Budi Karya said in Badung, Bali, on Sunday, Dec. 31.

He opined that the traffic nightmare in Bali had never happened before. Thus, he approved the plan for Trans Metro Dewata to launch a shuttle bus service to pick up and drop off travelers as a short-term anticipation of congestion around I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1816114/transport-minister-blames-souvenir-shops-for-bali-traffic-jam-mti-comment